Social media is bloody hard work


I’m about to deliver my final social media seminar in a series that I’ve designed for the National Screen Institute.

We’ve looked at Twitter and Facebook and this Wednesday I’ll tackle some of the other stuff that makes up a social media toolkit including blogging, RSS, FriendFeed, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn.

One message I’ve carried through these seminars is that social media is hard work. Bloody hard work.

I’ve been asked by seminar participants, ‘How much time should I devote to this stuff?’

And I’ve not been able to put a number on it. All I can say is work hard at it, be patient, consistent and you will eventually see results.

I think there is still a perception that having Twitter and Facebook accounts along with a handful of others is enough to tick the social media marketing box.

It isn’t.

You can’t do the social media thing half-heartedly.

You almost have to live it which means making it an intrinsic part of your everyday life.

This reminds me of something I recently heard …

Once upon a time we all had radio and TV came along. We had tapes and vinyl and CDs came along. We had VHS and Beta cassettes and DVD came along. People derided the new way. Soon the new way was the way. I think the same is true of the social web. It takes time for these behaviours to weave themselves into your life.

But I’m quite serious when I say social media is hard freakin’ work.

Making connections on the web is hard work.

Writing regular blog posts is hard work.

Keeping up three Twitter accounts is hard work.

Maintaining two Facebook accounts is hard work.

Delivering social media seminars is hard work.

But wait.

For me, hard work doesn’t mean ‘unenjoyable.’ It means I have to put my heart and soul into all that I do (and consequently sleep a lot at weekends!)

The social web and many of its parts are my passions.

Which is why I think social media isn’t necessarily for everyone.

If you don’t care enough, you’ll do a poor job of representing your company online.

If you’re gonna dive into this social media thing, do it with both feet and prepare for deep water.


  1. Yeah, I liked this post. I am trying to do some social media stuff with my organization, but I find other people are jumping in and I'm like “This needs to be a controlled process or NOTHING is going to work!”

  2. Completely agree. Social media is hard work and won't work if you are not passionate about it. I think a lot of companies are going to understand social media better this year. Social media is still new and you're right, it does need to “weave” itself into our lives. Great post

  3. Not knowing your target audience, my two cents are LinkedIn and FriendFeed, of the ones you list, oughtn't be part of the regimen but be replaced by Flickr and Youtube.

  4. YouTube is covered but I don't look at Flickr. I've been asked to talk about LinkedIn so will, of course, oblige.

  5. Hard work, yes, but fun and interesting work. It does require effort and strategy. But, agreed, it will soon be THE way. Great post, Liz!

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